American Field

Quickmarksman’s Tom Tekoa is Recipient of 38th John S. O’Neall, Sr. Open All-Age English Setter Award

By Dwight Smith | Sep 14, 2018
In foreground, Quickmarksman’s Tom Tekoa is posed by handler Mike Hester, joined by, from left: Robert “Lefty” Henry, Dwight Smith, Larry Earls, Rosemary Earls, Penny Earls and Paul Gadd.

Quickmarksman’s Tom Tekoa, six-year-old white and orange setter male owned by Larry Earls of Blackburg, S. C., was awarded the John S. O’Neall, Sr. Open All-Age Setter Award at the North Carolina Field Trial Association’s meeting in July. Mike Hester handled Tekoa to all his placements that included the 2018 Georgia Open Quail Championship. Other placements were the 2017 North Carolina Open All-Age, a second in the  American Quail Classic and runner-up in the 2017 Tar Heel Open Championship.

This was the 38th John S. O’Neall, Sr. Open All-Age Award, considered by many as the top setter award in the field trial fraternity. Tom was awarded the Herman Smith Setter Derby Award at the end of his Derby year.

Owner Larry Earls likes to breed and develop his own field trial contenders.

Tom’s story was sent to this reporter. Here is what Mr. Earls conveyed:

“In the summer of 1992 I bought a son of Tekoa Mountain Sunrise ex a daughter of Bozeann’s Mosley from my friend, the late Tim Epps of Charlotte, N. C. The reason I was able to buy the puppy was because the veterinarian had mistakenly thought they were Brittanys and completely docked their tails.

“I named my puppy ‘Tim’s Choice’ because Tim had liked the almost all- white puppy with a black nose and dark eyes. I bred him to a daughter of my open shooting dog Just Do It ex a Silky Sullivan bred bitch. From this cross I got a super bird dog named Tom Tekoa.

“I sold Tom when he was four to support my bird dog addiction but retained breeding rights. I had another very good setter male out of a See Johnny Run bitch and Alamance Little Rock named Hank. I had an opportunity to buy Hank’s dam so I acquired her to breed to Tom Tekoa.

“Tom Pastula bred his bitch to Hank and I picked a tricolor female puppy that I named Quickmarksman’s Sue. I then bred my See Johnny Run bitch to Tom Tekoa and kept the only male and named him Quickmarksman’s Tekoa. I then bred Quickmarksman’s Tekoa to Quickmarksman’s Sue and got Quickmarksman’s Tom Tekoa.

“Tom was a very good field trial prospect at a very young age. He was fast and classy with a smooth effortless gait that covered lots of ground in a hurry. He was very intelligent and would run very wide but stay in touch with me. If he made a big cast but didn’t know the way I wanted to go, he would stop and turn toward me like he was pointing. When I turned my horse or ATV the direction I wanted to go he would immediately fly to the front. He had endless stamina, needed very little water and was very heat tolerant. He was easy to break and never wanted to knock and chase much. He had an excellent nose and was very stylish on point.

“Mike Hester liked Tom the first time he saw him and asked me to let him run him. He won a lot as a Derby and won the Herman Smith English Setter Award. We think Tom has a lot more winning to do if he stays healthy and we look forward to campaigning him.

“A lot of time has passed (26 years) since this journey began and when I look back on all the things that have happened, I sometimes feel like my owning Tom was meant to be.”

Congratulations to Larry Earls, Mike Hester and Quickmarksman’s Tom Tekoa on this outstanding award.

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